Ayers' progress encouraging but lack of accountability troubling

Arthur Arkush
October 5, 2012
Ayers' progress encouraging but lack of accountability troubling

The Titans’ defense, which is allowing a league-worst 37.8 points per contest through the first four weeks, has provided few encouraging signs to begin the season. A rare exception, however, has been SLB Akeem Ayers, the unit’s leading tackler, who has been much more active in Year Two, we hear.

Ayers, who has received more opportunities to rush the passer in his second season, has one sack, but his takedown of Matthew Stafford in Week Three showed the dangerous speed off the edge that has the Titans so excited. What’s more, we hear Ayers is playing a more physical brand of football, an encouraging sign since his physicality was questioned at times as a rookie.

Ayers will continue getting more opportunities to make an impact, particularly when MLB Colin McCarthy returns to the field. It will be interesting to see how Ayers responds the next chance he gets to take accountability when things aren't going as well.

The way we hear it, as impressive as Ayers has played, it was disappointing that he deflected blame after making two critical mistakes at the end of the thrilling Week Three victory over the Lions. Ayers’ lack of accountability was largely left alone because the Titans pulled out the win, but we hear he should have pointed the finger at himself and not his teammates for his roughing-the-passer penalty and his failure to knock to the ground the Hail Mary pass that wound up in the hands of Lions WR Titus Young.